2007-04-05 18:09:00

Hizb ut-Tahrir activist convicted in Tajikistan

Dushanbe, April 5, Interfax - An activist of the banned extremist party Hizb ut-Tahrir has been sentenced to a long prison term, judge Iso Tavakkalov told journalists on Thursday.

"A Tajik citizen, Akmal Akbarov, born in 1976, was found guilty by a Chkalovsk court (a town 300 kilometers northeast from Dushanbe, at the border with Uzbekistan) and sentenced to nine years and nine months of imprisonment at a high-security correctional facility and will face confiscation of property," said Tavakkalov, who chaired the proceedings.

Akbarov was found guilty under Article 307, "Public calls for overthrow of the constitutional regime of the Republic of Tajikistan", Article 187 "Organizing a criminal organization" and Article 189 "Inciting ethnic, communal or religious hatred" of Tajikistan's Criminal Code.

Tavakkalov said that the court took into account the convict's repentance and the fact that he has three children.

It has been the third process against a Hizb ut-Tahrir member since the beginning of 2007 in northern Tajikistan.

In 2006, 92 presumed members of various extremist organizations were detained in Tajikistan, which is 10% more than in 2005. Fifty-eight among the detained are presumed members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is most active in the northern part of the country, which borders with the Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.